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Tao Ma, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor

Dr. Ma currently is an Associate Professor with tenure at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree in China and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and New York University in 2008, working with Drs. Robert Blitzer and Emmanuel Landau. From 2008-2010, he was a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Gunnar Gouras in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. From 2010 and 2014, he was an Assistant Research Scientist followed by Research Assistant Professor at the New York University Center for Neural Science, laboratory of Dr. Eric Klann. Dr. Ma is a neuroscientist with a specialization in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. His research focuses on novel molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and subsequently identifies potential therapeutic targets or biomarkers for AD and other aging-related cognitive impairments. Primary techniques applied in his laboratory include electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, behavioral tests, and molecular approaches in transgenic mouse models. His original research findings on molecular mechanisms in AD have been published in many high-profile journals including “Journal of Clinical Investigation”, “The Journal of Neuroscience” and “Nature Neuroscience”, and garnered international attention.   Dr. Ma has won numerous awards. He is a recipient and principal investigator of the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Aging K99/R00 research grant, multiple R01 research grants, and the Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator award. He also serves as the principal investigator of a research grant from the BrightFocus Foundation. He is an associate editor of “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease”. He is a fellow of “American Neurological Association (ANA)”, member of “Society for Neuroscience” and “New York Academy of Science”.

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Tan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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Qian Yang, Ph.D.

Research Fellow

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Tian Li, Ph.D.

Research Fellow

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Xin Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Fellow

Hannah J. Marshall

PhD candidate


Noelle Nicol

PhD student

Physiology & Pharmacology


Nathan Swift

PhD student


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Nico Schneider

M.D. student

Wake Forest School of Medicie

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Jiny (Jinal) Patel

 MS student



Adam Manuel

 Undergraduate student

Wake Forest University


Brighid Boylan

Undergraduate student

Wake Forest Universtiy


Alex Duncan

Research technician

Sherry (Xueyan) Zhou, MD, MS

Research Associate

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